Quality journalism can provide the public with accurate information, analysis, and comment so they can make informed decisions and participate in democracy. Quality journalism can also help protect citizenry by making the government and the private sector accountable. Investigative journalism in particular aims to expose corruption and malfeasance in government and in private institutions. Propublica is an example of an investigative news organization.
“Fake news” is misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead the public for financial or political gain. False stories that are widely accessed and shared through social media (often with bots or automated accounts) can generate substantial advertising revenue for their purveyors, but they can also inflict lasting social and political harm in the process.
For credible news, it is best to seek out outlets which are well-staffed with reporters, and which follow a strict, fact-checked editorial process. Outlets might include broadcasting services such as National Public Radio, press services such as Reuters or Associated Press, or national “newspapers of record” such as The Washington Post or The New York Times. According to author and educator Michael Caulfield, “national newspapers of record” are distinguished in two ways:
These types of newspapers generally require a paid subscription for access. But you can access a number of "newspapers of record" for free through through our library databases--including National Newspaper Core, U.S. Major Dailies--in one search! Watch this video on how to use this database.